The freakiest stuff you can buy for just $1 this Christmas

If you want to shock and amaze your friends and family this Christmas, look no further than the deep recesses of $1 reserve Trade Me. 

Folks, I’m going to let you in on a huge Christmas secret here: you can get all your presents for $1 if you know where to look. And not just any presents. Bizarre presents. Unique presents. Cursed presents. These challenging delights can be found in the deepest recesses of Trade Me, a rich online treasure trove of secondhand goods sure to excite and amaze even the grouchiest Christmas grinch. Because who doesn’t love a pair of quirky teeth this festive season?

Intrigued? Scared? Ready to shop? Allow me to select 10 favourites from the Trade Me bargain bin. 

Sassy number plate frame

We’ve been huge fans of the personalised plate for a long time here at The Spinoff. A personalised plate says so much about your values, your interests and your life journey. I see a numberplate every morning that says “USEXPAT” and, in the frame around it, the heartfelt postscript “and bloody loving it.” I’ve never met the person who owns the car, but I feel like I’ve known them for a lifetime. Buy this sassy frame for your favourite man-loving single mate and watch the suitors roll in. The Christmas gift that keeps on giving. 

Literal dead man’s chest

Any Pirates of the Caribbean fans in your life (aka all of them if you are living your life right) would love this new take on the dead man’s chest… of stamps. Don’t think too hard about someone saving up stamps all their life, just to eventually die and have someone sell them for $1 on Trade Me, just place a bid and then shower them over your loved ones like confetti. 

Clown ties

Not one but THREE different ties for the absolute clown in your life. Don’t even START thinking about the back story to this auction because it is simply too much to handle. Wacky clown breaks bad? Street performer gets office job? Messy clown divorce? Can’t fit all those ties in his tiny, tiny car? Makes you think, makes you feel.

Nativity scene

What I like the most about this auction, aside from the obvious traditional Christmas cheer, are the questions and answers. Sometimes I scroll Trade Me just reading this section and imagining the people sitting behind their computers demanding answers. “Hi, do you have a buy now?” urgently asks discopunk. “Any missing pieces” asks goodgrief1, before later revealing they are specifically on the hunt for “a shepherd with a lamb on his shoulder”. PS: If anyone out there has goodgrief1 for Secret Santa this year, I got a few ideas

Haunted doll

It’s been a great year for haunted dolls, with the Waipu terror doll reminding us all that none of our scalps are safe and no glass casing can hold back a vengeful evil spirit. Also this cursed little blighter is me, at home on Christmas Day on the couch, wearing me smalls and a glazed look as I stare at the remaining ham across the room. Fun and festive.

5g dried dandelion

Because Paula Bennett has to buy her props from somewhere…

The Big Pink Pig

Mark my words: I love this big pink pig. “Painted with a glossy tan finish giving it a lovely shining coat,” the bargain $1 auction reads, “could be used as a paper weight or ornament.” This versatile pig has a very wise soul and what I like the most is that the “big” description is never elaborated on. Could be the size of the ancient penguin. Could be the size of a cat. Could be the size of a matchbox and the auction was written by an overwhelmed ant. We just won’t know until we buy it for ourselves. 

Toe ring

“One ring to rule them all, one ring to find them, one ring to bring them all and in the darkness, bind them” – you on Christmas Day handing these toe rings out to everyone in your family. 

Zed: Silencer

Nothing says summer like some stonking Kiwi tunage, and this DD (double disc) special edition of Silencer is exactly what your old Toyota Starlet that doesn’t have an aux thing needs for your next roadie. Prepare to wow your mates with the fun factoid that ‘Glorafilia’was the name of a needlepoint book, before enjoying the historic price sticker journey on the case from $34.95, to $15, to $1. Life, man. 

Completely normal toys

“Both are soiled. I do not want to risk cleaning them so selling as is :-) . They are very cute ;-)”

This content was created in paid partnership with Trade Me. Learn more about our partnerships here.



The Spinoff is made possible by the generous support of the following organisations.
Please help us by supporting them.